Post # 1
The purpose of wearing a veil is apparently to showcase a bride’s virginity, and then to remove the veil after the marriage symbolized consummating the marriage.
As someone who is non-religious, can I still wear a veil? Is it too religious? Do you think this matters?
Post # 3
I think veils and weddings are so symbiotic that religion gets completely tossed out the window when it comes to veils. Wear one if you want it, regardless.
I also read that brides wore veils wAY back when to shield their face, as arranged marriages were so popular back then that the groom did not see the bride until the veil was lifted.
Post # 4
Personally, I think a veil’s (current) main purpose is to look pretty. If you want it to have greater symbolism than that for you, then great- it can! But it definitely doesn’t require that symbolism.
As long as you aren’t taking something extremely religious- say, a cross or a hijab- and toting it to look nice then I think you’re safe.
Post # 5
Dude, I’m religious and having a very religious ceremony and I had NO idea veils had religious symbolism. Wear what you want! I doubt anyone will know/care. 🙂
Post # 6
We are not religious at all, and I wore a veil. It had nothing to do with religion for me. I just felt more “bridal” with it on, and I felt it completed my look. It was all about style 🙂
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@peachacid: Weddings in general have a religious basis too, but who cares. I say if you want to rock a veil, do it. No one will think how incongruous it is with your atheism 🙂
Post # 8
I mean, I have a one tier veil that is just to look pretty, even though I’m having a religious ceremony. So no, definitely not religious in my eyes (I find that idea of the veil-virginity thing sexist, but that’s just my opinion!) and I think you should rock one if you want to!
Post # 9
I always thought veils were to hide the bride’s face so that the groom didn’t see her before the wedding, grimace, and ask for his three donkeys and 14 chickens back from her father.
Wear whatever you want. I’ve seen atheist weddings, pagan weddings, Baptist weddings and secular/spiritual weddings with veils. It just means “bride” these days.
Post # 10
I could see a 2-tier veil where the veil is covering your face while you walk down the aisle and then the groom lifts it up to reveal your face at the ceremony as religious–that has to do with the story of Jacob’s marriage to Leah instead of Rachel. but really that’s more of a custom than a religious requirement anyway, according to Judaism. and any other kind of veil is just a pretty accessory.
Post # 11
I’m quite religious, and I can say that no, it does not matter one bit. I can’t imagine anyone getting offended at you wearing a veil for a secular ceremony.
When it comes down to it, pretty much every wedding tradition is a symbol of virginity + the losing of it (white dress, garters and the removal of them, the bridal bouquet, etc., etc.), so people would have to totally revamp their weddings if they were concerned about doing something with the religious connotation to it. 🙂
Post # 12
@MASPA: +1 this. Truthfully that is the real meaning of veils.
Heck no OP! I will be in the same boat and wearing one :]
Post # 13
Our ceremony was completely secular, no mention of God or anything remotely religious, our officiant did a wonderful job with the ceremony (secular and interfaith ceremonies were what she mainly performed). I’m an atheist and I was very much not a virgin when I was married, didn’t stop me from wearing a veil. I feel like a veil is more of an accessory now, not a symbol of virginity. I find the whole veil and virginity thing to be sexist (not to mention the purity symbolism has a rather misogynistic historical meaning as it once meant that when the groom lifted the veil on the bride who had to be pure to wear the veil, he was symbolically unwrapping her, accepting and taking possession of her – there are also various other symbolic meanings through time) anyway so whatever. Rock one if you want to!
@lolot: Marriage predates Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The concept of marriage and it coming to the forefront of culture leading to its practice and eventual prevalence in society occurred during the neolithic/agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago and was not religious or had anything to do with the God of the Abrahamic religions.
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@mrsscribbles: True true. I guess I was thinking that a wedding itself, not marriage in general, has a religious basis. But in retrospect, I’m sure there were wedding celebrations long before there was organized religion – the aspect of joining in union before all your friends and family (or before the two clans, or whatever) is much older than the religious aspect of weddings.
Post # 15
i had a secular ceremony and wore a birdcage veil….. I don’t care what the meaning of a veil means but it means nothing religious to me, I saw it as a more of a fashion piece.
Post # 16
Nope, I’m not even sure veils are rooted in religion so much as patriarchy, but they’ve become a very central part of the western wedding and the denotion of a bride. I’m an atheist and a feminist, and I wore a veil just because it seemed pretty.
I personally did not want a veil that covered my face because it felt a little off to me, so I just wore it with the comb tucked into my bun for the ceremony and took the whole thing off for the reception. (I kept sitting on it earlier in the day and did not want to deal with it for dinner and dancing.)